Speaker Ryan Says Progress Being Made on Health Care Bill CSPAN April 27, 2017 5:47pm-6:05pm EDT
waiting for the administration to release their full budget request. we hear it's coming in late may. diane black, the house budget committee chairwoman is working on her own budget resolution, she says aiming to get the balance within 10 years. there has to be a lot of deep spending cuts in order to make that happen. president trump has just proposed some tax changes that could add up to $7 trillion to the budget deficit over 10 years. so you're going to look at some very deep spending cuts. it remains to be seen exactly where the house and senate will come out on a top line number for appropriations for 2018. if it's anywhere near the $54 billion in cuts president trump has already proposed that would be difficult to get through congress because democrats would not be able to support that. host: eric law sn -- eric wasson on es -- you can follow him
twitter,@elwasson. >> this is 15 minutes. mr. ryan: yeah, haven't had one of those in a long time. good morning, everybody. first i want to welcome our special guests today. i think it's great to see you here, it's great you get to see the work your parents do, but don't tell them this but they're actually kind of good at their jobs. are those your daughters? you had one last year with us. >> this is the first time for abby. mr. ryan: i digress, sorry. later today the president will sign an executive order to improve accountability at the v.a. under the obama administration, not nearly enough was done to
hold bureaucrats accountable for failing veterans at veterans affairs. despite promises to clean things up, only a smattering of people were moved out of their jobs, only a smattering of people were held accountable. last month, the house passed the v.a. accountability act to make it easier to bring the kind of steady leadership that v.a. medical centers desperately need. last week the president signed legislation to reduce out of pocket costs for veterans and to promote better access to care. these are all very positive steps. to deliver the kind of fundamental reform needed at the v.a. this adds to what has already been a very incredibly active first 100 days. under the president's leadership, we have cut red tape at record levels, cutting red tape saves families dollars, it saves businesses jobs. in fact, we have saved families an businesses more than $67 billion just already. yesterday, the administration put out its principles for pro growth tax reform. that's the next step toward
overhauling our tax code. we continue to make real progress in our work to repeal and replace obamacare. as you saw, we posted amendments to the american health care act yesterday. this amendment was the result of constructive conversations among our members that focused on how to do more to lower costs for everyone. what this amendment does is gives states more flexibility and tools to reduce premiums and increase choices. it does this while maintaining and preserving protections for people with pre-existing conditions. those protections remain on the books even as we add new ones. the goal is to give states the flexibility to lower pleem yums. we have not made any decisions on a vote but this is more progress and we'll continue our progress an our work to repeal and replace obamacare. now i'm sure some of you have questions. are there any young people who ave questions?
anybody else have any questions? what are your reassurances to moderates who maybe liked the rangal plan? > we're going to -- mr. ryan mr. ryan: this is a bill a moderate would want to support. some people were concerned about e.h.b.'s. e.h.b.'s were taken out in earlier drafts of the bill, they're put back in. a state would have to find a waiver for essential health benefits. if anything this puts more ederal protections in. every state is a little different. in wisconsin he had -- we had a high risk pool that worked
really well. we ought to be given the responsible to do what works for us because the wisconsin health care system is different than the vermont health care system. but even if a state gets a waiver there are multiple layers of pre-existing conditions protections, like continuous coverage. if you have a health care problem and you have health insurance you can't be denied or rated for higher health care costs. if you switch plans, the same restrictions apply even if your state gets a waiver. the more important point, why this amendment is a step in the right direction is we believe the smarter way to go on getting premiums down and protections people with pre-existing conditions is have federal and state support for people who are sick, support that catastrophic illness with greater subsidies so that everyone else doesn't have to bear the costs in their insurance pools. so if we directly support that
catastrophic coverage, sort of reinsurance on top of insurance, then you're lowering everyone else's prices. you are making it easier for people to afford quality health insurance and you're guaranteeing that that person who has catastrophic health care cost, that person who has a pre-existing condition or gets really sick gets the coverage they need. we think it's a really good step in the right direction. we're having very productive conversations with our members. we feel like we are on the right track and we will announce when we have a vote when we're going to go. reporter: is there pressure to vote by the president? speaker ryan: we want to go when we're ready to go. this has been a very organic bottom-up process. it takes time to do that. we're doing big things. talked about 200 days because i thought the kind of agenda that we're attempting to put together here, overhauling health care, overhauling the tax system, rebuilding our military, securing the border, those take more than just a few months. they take a long time. at least a year. and so that's why we're working on the path to get it right and
not constrained it to some artificial deadline. nancy. reporter: mr. speaker, high risk pools don't have the greatest track record. in wisconsin your high risk pool was great for the people who were on it but it was still unaffordable for a lot of other people, wasn't it? speaker ryan: no. it was pretty actually darn good but this will add federal funding to it. so think of high risk pools. there were states that had high risk pools, that had reinsurance mechanisms or risk sharing like the main plan. none of them had any federal funding to it. none of them had any federal resources. this takes that idea and adds federal resources to it to make sure it works even better. and h.h.s. will coordinate with those states to make sure they have good mechanisms in place. so we have seen states. wyoming had a good one. utah had a good one. washington state had a good one. maine had a good one. we had a good one. they work. now we will be adding federal funding to it they'll work even better and lower prices even more. reporter: can you assure people with pre-existing conditions that they won't be worse off under your plan? speaker ryan: people will be better off under this plan. that's our goal here. to make it easier for people.
the problem with obamacare, people get one choice at best in a third of all the counties in america. five states -- you got one plan to choose from. that's not very good to have just a monopoly giving you health insurance. our job here is to make sure that people get more choices and by getting more choices you can get better quality health insurance and lower prices and we preserve those protections for people with pre-existing conditions. that's the goal of this bill. that's what this bill achieves. and we think it's going to be a big improvement on the status quo which is collapsing before us. reporter: thank you, mr. speaker. steny hoyer and democrats say that they will -- speaker ryan: uh-oh. [laughter] i was repeating what she was saying. not what you said. reporter: democrats are saying they will withhold votes for a funding bill. speaker ryan: yeah. she said to me about that. reporter: a vote this week on obamacare repeal, what's your reaction to that and can you pass a funding bill with just republican votes? speaker ryan: i would be shocked they would want to see a government shutdown, that the democrats would want to do
that. look, let's just take a step back. the reason this government funding bill is not ready is because democrats have been dragging their feet. periodically they haven't been showing up for negotiations. so the reason we need an extension in the first place is because democrats are dragging their feet. even if we get an agreement, let's just say, in 10 minutes, we simply can't process the paperwork that long and we have a three-day rule. people need to be able to read the bill. so it inevitably under any scenario or circumstance requires a short-term extension. i'm confident we will be able to pass a short-term extension. i would be kind of shocked the democrats would want to create a government shutdown because they have been dragging their feet. yeah, casey. reporter: mr. speaker, back to health care for a moment. ith all the changes you have made, could this be an easy yes vote for the moderate members? speaker ryan: yeah. tom macarthur is a leading moderate in congress. it's his amendment.
reporter: it seems to frustrate his fellow moderates. speaker ryan: tom macarthur, who has an entire career in insurance, understanding the math and mechanics and science of insurance, has come up with an amendment that works very -- really. -- really well. and it gets to where we all want to go. we want to bring down costs. we want to preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions and we want to respect the fact that states, you know, have different issues, different health care marketplaces and we want to give states the maximum reduction in policies and premiums so we can get the best possible health care system. what we have learned is a cookie cutter one-size-fits-all health care system doesn't work for america. it's a diverse country. different states have different rules and systems. we need to respect that. and that's what this macarthur amendment does. he's one of the leading moderates. he's a co-chair of the tuesday group. good shot archer, right? he's one of the leading shot -- sorry it was a good shot.
that was pretty cool. he's one of the leading members of the tuesday group so i think this is a coalescing thing. reporter: are seats potentially at risk? speaker ryan: i think people's seats are at risk if we don't do what we said we would do. we all campaigned on repealing and replacing this law that is collapsing. the american health care system in the individual market is in peril right now. we have a moral obligation to prevent people from getting hurt, to stop damage from being continued, and we promised we would do this. if you violate your promise, if you commit hypocrisy in politics, that's the greater risk to a person's seat. you in the back. reporter: on cost sharing subsidies, you have said the administration should continue those payments. in fact, you sued the obama administration for that exact same thing. o.m.b. is saying this is an issue that congress needs to deal with. you said you don't want to deal in the second bill, what's the future of these because it seems like the white house and house republicans are in different pages on how that funding --
speaker ryan: yeah. we're in litigation so i won't go into details on that only that it's the difference between the separation of powers. so we're in existing litigation and the white house, the administration's been making those payments while that's pending which is still pending. i think the white house has already made comments on this so i'll leave it at that. reporter: so once the lawsuit ends, will congress -- speaker ryan: i don't know what the outcome will be. reporter: the house oversight committee -- speaker ryan: i'll go back to you next. reporter: the house oversight committee released documents showing -- raising concerns about michael flynn. i'm wondering, do you believe -- in his failure to disclose foreign payments, do you believe he may have broken the law, number one? number two, are you concerned about the white house's vetting procedures and actually hiring to this position to begin with? speaker ryan: i don't know whether he did or did not. that's why we have an investigation. this i see is part of our ongoing investigation. over at hipsi as well. over at hipsi as well.
we'll just find the answer to that question through an investigation. i am not going to prejudge a conclusion. reporter: on the miners benefit -- where do you stand? should those benefits be extended to health benefits permanently? speaker ryan: oh, i won't get into -- reporter: do you believe that companies like -- speaker ryan: i believe these health benefits should be xtended. i am not going to insert myself into ongoing negotiations that the appropriators are going about the length of that. >> last question. reporter: the tax foundation, their estimates of tax reform and effective tax cuts, you guys cite them on the republican side very often. one of the assumptions is there is no crowdout effect from rising debt. and so i'm curious as to whether ou in the past have said you believe a rising debt -- entitlement programs and spending will have a drag on economic growth. is there an -- can you square that circle? speaker ryan: it's all about interest rates, right, jonathan? i think under most models you assume a normalization of interest rates will occur. the question is do interest rates go above their normal
rates or do they go higher because of debt and deficits? crowding out investment? i do believe that we have to have fiscal discipline in addition to economic growth. you know me well. i think that means reforming our entitlement programs. i think passing this health care bill, which helps go at lowering the cost of health care, is extremely important if you're going to lower fiscal exposure. if you're going to help close the debt. one of the biggest drivers of our debt is the high cost of health care and inflation. we can have a patient health care system that is restored by reviving the individual market. that's one of the greatest things we can do to bring down high health care costs and close the debt and the deficit. so i do believe you have to have comprehensive entitlement reforms along with pro-growth legislation like tax reform to get the best of both worlds which is getting the debt under control, getting people back to work and getting faster economic growth that gives us better revenues. last one. ok. i got a -- it's my turn to ask a question.
leader nancy pelosi held her weekly briefing with reporters at the capitol. she talked about efforts to pass a termrary -- temporary government spending bill and criticized president trump's job performance as a he nears the first 100 days in office. this is a half hour. [laughter] ms. pelosi: they said children could be able to ask questions, ut you can take a picture. maybe we can segue that into children asking a question. welcome, children. we always do what we do here in recognition of our responsibility to our children. as you know, washington is a place so dedicated to honoring our founders. you see monuments and statues